When did it become a taboo to actually take a break on the weekends? How about logging off for a few hours at night? Or what about taking a few hours to reply to that email that isn't urgent and landed in your inbox at 10 p.m.? When did rest become a dirty word in the business world?
Oh yes, since we decided to transform the image of a successful entrepreneur into a sleep-deprived, hustle-chasing zombie! #Realtalk though, somewhere along the lines "rest" has earned itself a bad rap and it's caused me a bit of concern. Because the last time I checked, I didn't start a business to turn into a zombie.
So what's the deal and why have we as a whole, decided that rest is a luxury rather than a necessity? It seems like more than ever we are expected to always be "on" and focused on our businesses 24/7 -- especially in the era of social media. Which, don't get me wrong, social media isn't the bad guy in this scenario either, but it has certainly made it easier for the message to travel. We've glamorized "the hustle" and thrown out all of our sane thoughts about the trajectory of our careers. All in an effort to chase this idealistic view of how our lifestyle will be once we've "made it". We've gotten lost in the race to 5-figure months and 6-figure businesses that we're just mindlessly running because that's what we've been told we should do. And when we see someone spending every waking minute on their business, we praise them instead of showing any concern over the situation. We look at them as being "dedicated" and a "real go-getter". Are they? Probably, but there has got to be a better way to earn these merits than driving ourselves into the ground.
Don't get me wrong, when you're chasing your dreams it can be all-consuming, but guys, we have got to cut some of this out! By chasing this logic, we're not only doing ourselves and future bosses a disservice, but we're just feeding the beast. And if there's one thing I can tell you about trying to keep up with this illusion, it is that it usually doesn't end anywhere good. Do you have to work hard to make it in business? Abso-freaking-lutely! But, I whole-hearted believe there is a better way than the mindless zombie route.
So today we're talking about breaking the mold on how we view rest, getting our priorities in check and working smarter not harder. Because if we're going to make a change on this viewpoint, we need to start from the ground-up on how we look at our priorities and how to make better use of our time to actually get on the path to success.
Get Your Priorities in Check
So let's start this section off with a truth bomb. We aren't allowing ourselves to rest because we aren't making it a priority! Mostly because of the way we think about it. So repeat after me.
Rest is not a luxury. Rest is something I need to refresh my mind and refresh my body. Rest shouldn't be a bad word, but instead is something that is essential to keep me going during the good and the bad times. Rest is a key component to success and I need to prioritize it to make sure I am working at full potential.
How did that feel? Good I hope! The first step of making this shift is changing the way we think about things. Once you are able to do that then you will have a clearer picture of how you can factor it into your priorities. Why do I know the process so well? It's something we've been working hard at at Bold & Pop this Fall. We realized we needed to make a shift in our business and personal lives and finally sorting out that work/life balance thing was at the top of our list. The truth is, we bought into the idea that we had to chase the hustle around the clock and we realized the only path we were putting ourselves on was the path to burnout. And when you have BIG goals like taking over the world, ain't nobody have time for that. 💁🏼💁🏻
So we adjusted our outlook and decided to make a change. Now, instead of working around the clock, we've both made an effort to close out laptops at the end of the workday to rest and actually enjoy life a little. I mean, isn't that the reason why a lot of us started our businesses in the first place? To have more flexibility for to spend more time with those that we love and do the things we enjoy? YES! Even more reason to throw out the idea that you have to be glued to your desk all day and night.
We are ALL guilty of using the excuse, "I don't have the time to do this"... or "I'm just too busy for that". I know personally, I've used both a million times but newsflash YOU DO! We all have the same amount of hours in the day and the only thing you don't have time for are the things you do not prioritize. It's not a time issue, it's a priority issue. You certainly can't do everything, every day, but if you shift your outlook you WILL find time for the things you prioritize.
And spoilerrrr, prioritizing rest and actually enjoying some things outside of work can be a game changer! For me at least. Not only has my mood been affected but my productivity and outlook have also improved. Guys, I've started hiking on the regular... I've spent more time with family and some of my favs... I've been cooking more. How's that for working on this rest thing and mastering that work/life balance!?
Work Smarter not Harder
Once you have your priorities in check, it's a lot easier to take a look at how you can work smarter. I know we've all heard this phrase, "work smarter not harder", but when was the last time you really took it to heart? I know for one, I had told myself, "there isn't any possible way I could work smarter, I'm just that busy". And guess what, I was wrong. Was I actually really busy? Yes, but just because you can find tasks to do during every hour your awake, doesn't mean you should (please re-read the priorities section above 👆🏻).
Now I'm not saying you should miss out on deadlines or client projects, but what I am saying is there are probably a lot of things on your to-do list that aren't as time-pressing as you are treating them. Will you have the occasional late nights? Of course, but the key is to cut those 12-15 hour days from the norm to every once in awhile.
So how do you do that? The first step is checking in with your business, your goals and processes. Are the systems you have in place running like a well-oiled machine? Or is there some room for improvement? Start there! Anytime you can optimize the way you are running your business the better. Once you've taken care of that, it's back to the topic of priorities. Take a good look at how much you can reallyyy get done within your desired amount of work hours and then prioritize your tasks based on that number. I must say, I was pretty nervous about doing this in our business, but to my surprise, cutting back on hours didn't decrease the amount of work we got done, it only forced us to get smarter and more productive during the day. Oh and guess what, it's a lot easier to tackle creativity when your mind actually gets an adequate break!
Spread the News
So what do you say? Want to help get "rest" off the bad words list, because I sure know I do! If we're going to make a change though we need to talk about this! Share this blog post, share the message, let's get this out there. There's nothing wrong with being passionate about your business, but let's remember how integral rest is. Because let's be real, I'd rather see a whole lot more of you kicking butt in your biz instead of so many going down the path of becoming burnt out zombies. We got this guys! 💪🏻